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Computed tomography, commonly referred to as a “CT Scan” or “CAT scan,” uses x-rays to create highly detailed images of internal organs. Since CT scanners are capable of rotating the x-ray device, they can image detailed cross sections, called “slices,” of areas of the body. Unlike images from conventional X-rays, CT shows details of all tissues including organs, bones, blood vessels, etc.
CT is used frequently to image the abdomen, body, head, or spine. Your physician may order a CT scan to screen for a variety of conditions, including heart disease, sinus problems, certain types of cancer or tumors, or disorders of internal organs.
For some patients with a history of heavy smoking, CT may also be recommended for lung cancer screening. For patients with suspected heart disease, RMI also provides an exam called coronary CT for cardiac scoring.
Preparing for CT
Click to download preparation instructions (PDF)
Medical Radiation Safety
The radiation dose from a CT scan is considered to be in the “low-level radiation” category. However, since CT scans require more radiation than other types of imaging exams, RMI is committed to managing radiation dose for patient safety, under the principles of the Image Gently program for pediatric patients and the Image Wisely program for adults.
Information on computed tomography (CT) from RadiologyInfo.org: